California has 11 economies that are larger than New Hampshire, Luxembourg, or Pepsico – Orange County Register


Survey Says looks at various rankings and scorecards for assessing geographic locations and finds that these ratings are best viewed as a mix of art and data.

To hum: California has 11 county economies that are among the 50 largest in the country.

Source: My reliable spreadsheet has checked various economic performance metrics, including 2020 gross domestic product by county by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, World Bank national GDP for 2020, and major US public company sales in 2021 by Companiesmarketcap.com.

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It is often difficult to comprehend how much business is being done in the golden state’s often maligned economy.

Just look at what the latest release of local business activity data tells us. If I put national outputs by GDP math in a geographic perspective, even California’s 11th largest economy – Contra Costa County – has more business value flowing through it than what is produced or sold by Pepsico in all of New Hampshire or Luxembourg.

Let’s begin our analysis with the largest economy in the state, Los Angeles County. Its economic output in 2020 was estimated at $ 659 billion, even after shrinking 6.3% in a pandemic cold year. Incidentally, the economy collapsed by 3.4% in 2020.

Now $ 659 billion is a huge number. How large?

1. It is the largest of the 3,000 US counties – easily surpassing number 2 in Manhattan’s New York County.

2. If LA County were a state, its economy would rank seventh between Pennsylvania and Ohio.

3. If LA County were a nation, it would be the largest economy in the world – between Saudi Arabia and Poland.

4. And if you looked at GDP from a corporate revenue perspective, LA County would rank # 1 in U.S. corporate revenue at $ 221 billion – larger than retailer Walmart, the top-selling company in the country.

Elsewhere in California

Santa Clara: $ 340 billion GDP for 2020, fifth among all US counties (just before Seattle’s King County) after growing 4.4% in 2020. As a state, it would rank 17th between Colorado and Indiana. As a nation, it would rank 37th between Hong Kong and Singapore. And its cash flow versus company earnings would make it number 5 in sales – between Warren Buffets Berkshire Hathaway and CVS Health.

Orange: $ 221 billion, the No. 9 county (just outside San Diego County) after shrinking 4.4% in 2020. As a state, it ranks 25th between Louisiana and Oregon. As a nation number 49 between Portugal and New Zealand. It ranks 10th among US publicly owned companies – between technology company Alphabet (Google) and medical company AmerisourceBergen.

San Diego: $ 208 billion, ranked 10th (just ahead of San Francisco County) after shrinking 2.9% in 2020. As the No. 27 state between South Carolina and Alabama. As country number 50 between New Zealand and Iran. And when it comes to corporate revenue, it’s 11th between AmerisourceBergen and retailer Costco.

San Francisco: $ 175 billion, ranked 11th (just ahead of Atlanta’s Fulton County) after shrinking 0.8% in 2020. As the No. 30 state between Kentucky and Utah. As a nation, 53rd between Greece and Kazakhstan. And when compared to corporate revenue, it ranks 13th between technology company Microsoft and telecommunications company AT&T.

San Mateo: $ 124 billion, # 15 (just before Alameda County) after shrinking 1.1% in 2020. As the number 34 state between Nevada and the District of Columbia. As a nation, 59th between Qatar and Morocco. And when compared to corporate revenue, it ranks 24th between automaker General Motors and bank JPMorgan Chase.

Alameda: $ 122 billion, ranked 16th (just ahead of Hennepin County, Minneapolis) – down 3.5% in 2020. Ranked No. 35 between the District of Columbia and Nebraska. As a nation, it is number 59 between Qatar and Morocco. And when it comes to corporate revenue, it ranks 24th between General Motors and JPMorgan Chase.

San Bernardino: $ 82.2 billion, # 39 (just before DuPage County of Illinois) after shrinking 1.9% in 2020. As the No. 39 state between New Mexico and New Hampshire. As a nation, it ranks 67th between Ecuador and Sri Lanka. And when compared to corporate revenue, it ranks 38th between the shipper FedEx and Humana of medicine.

Sacramento: $ 81.6 billion, # 41 (just outside Montgomery County, Alabama) after shrinking 2.8% in 2020. As the No. 39 state between New Mexico and New Hampshire. As a nation the number 67 between Ecuador and Sri Lanka. And ranked 38th between FedEx and Humana in terms of corporate revenue.

River bank: $ 78.3 billion, # 44 (just outside of Fairfield County, Connecticut) after shrinking 3% in 2020. As the No. 39 state between New Mexico and New Hampshire. As a nation number 70 between the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. And in terms of company sales, it ranks 43rd between Intel and Procter & Gamble.

Against Costa: $ 76.7 billion, # 46 (just outside Palm Beach County, Florida) after shrinking 3.3% in 2020. As the No. 39 state between New Mexico and New Hampshire. As a nation, it is number 71 between Guatemala and Luxembourg. And when compared to corporate revenue, it ranks 44th between Procter & Gamble and Pepsico.

Bottom line

I hope this list helps you understand that for all the imperfections of California’s business climate, its economy remains a vast collection of things managed, designed, built, shipped, and sold.

Size says something. And many outsiders would like the state’s economic headache.

Jonathan Lansner is a business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at jlansner@scng.com


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